Photo by Gayla Trail All Rights Reserved

Dispatches from the Land of the Lost

If I had to describe Dominica’s flora with one word, I think I would choose “giant.” Or possibly “huge.” “Lush” is a good word but I’m not sure it can convey the kind of extreme lushness I am talking about. This isn’t North American lush, this is rainforest, tons of water and heat, things just

Photo by Gayla Trail All Rights Reserved

Making Sorrel with Fresh Hibiscus

Sorrel or rum punch (sorrel spiked with rum) is a popular, refreshing drink in the Caribbean, especially during the holiday season. Knowing this, I was particularly excited to get to the market and get my hands on some fresh sorrel so that I could find out how the drink compares when the flower calyces are

Photo by Gayla Trail All Rights Reserved

Eating Golden Apple

Day one of our big trip has just passed and I’ve already managed to try a new fruit. I expected to eat a lot of my favourite fruit on this trip, but I didn’t anticipate finding anything, besides breadfruit, that I haven’t tried already. We half walked, half bussed our way to the nearest town

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In Search of My Grandmother’s Garden

I am doing something big this winter, something I have wanted to do for a very long time. It has sat inside me for years and years as a wish that I never quite believed would happen. Even now, with some of the plane tickets booked, I can barely believe I am really doing this

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Hibiscus Drink

The rooftop garden is finally set up for outdoor living and the heat has suddenly cranked up, which means it’s summer drink time. I’ve taken to making up bright red batches of roselle, aka sorrel (not to be confused with the cold hardy herb Rumex acetosa), a tangy and refreshing ginger infused hibiscus drink popular

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Gardening Lessons My Grandmother Taught Me (Unintentionally)

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I wrote this piece back in February for The Guardian UK, and am now posting it here in its entirety as promised. You can read my preface to it here.

My gardener’s story is atypical. There were no childhood summers frolicking in the garden of a rosy-cheeked matriarch eager to pass on a passion for growing things; however, there was, in fact, a grandmother—a woman who for better or worse certainly left an impression. A woman who taught me about gardening without meaning to, possibly even in spite of herself.

Untitled (A Darker Side to Gardening)

Over the weekend, I decided to read Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Autobiography of My Mother” for the second time. Opening the first page, I notice a note scrawled into the top right hand corner in my own handwriting, “pg 143.” Turning to page 143 I find the following passage underlined: “He had an obsessive interest in

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